Speak easy at the Voodoo Rooms

Yes, I was back in the Voodoo Rooms again this week (and I’ll be there next week for Black Cat Bone). Not the big room this time, but the Speakeasy on the first floor, a very intimate venue. I didn’t think I’d ever been in there before, certainly never for a gig but the more I dwell on it, I reckon I may have seen a Fringe show in it years ago. There is bar at the back of the room but, as it was roasting in there, I trotted upstairs for a pint of Caesar Augustus for a bit of a cool down (there are two large air conditioning units on the ceiling but they didn’t seem to be doing much). On one of the side walls is a large mirror, a really large mirror. For aesthetics? To the make the room seem much bigger? Maybe to help shortarses like myself to get a good view of the bands! As usual for a music gig there was a substantial number of giants attending; my jigging around was only half inspired by the beats, the other half by trying to catch glimpses of the bands. Then I realised I got a much better view if I watched through the mirror, result!

I actually knew next to nothing about the bands playing; absolutely nothing about the two supports and only pictures of the headline band on a page I follow on Facebook. The pictures were super cool, oozed style and screamed 60’s vibe – if the band sounded half as good as the pictures that would still be bloody good. The bands?

Apologies to The Poppermost for my lack of organisation to get there earlier and see them, whilst waiting to get served at the bar I heard that I’d really missed a treat! Damn! My excuse? Rain, buckets and buckets of it! My usual mode of transport, Shanks’ pony is averse to the stuff. I’d hoped it might peter out, but by the back of 8 o’clock I had to come up with a plan c (to see the rain without it touching me).

I missed the very start of Les Bof! but I don’t think by much. Their bio on Facebook just says “UK premier French 60’s Garage Rock band!” Well, this moose likes French 60’s garage rock apparently, never knew that before! I love their style and sound, yes, very sixties and that dirty, gritty sound like early Dr Feelgood and the Animals. For the first time in a while the lack of cigarette smoke fog seemed slightly odd, definitely one of those gigs where once upon a time you could have cut through the smog with a knife! The singer Laurent Mombel sure likes to shake a tambourine, and being French he looks cool doing it. I have later discovered that the rest of the band are Scottish (an easy assumption to make that they were all French), well I reckon they’ve picked up a Gallic ambience from Mombel over time. I’ll be watching out for Les Bof! in future.

And then, The Courettes, like wow, talk about the passion, baby! I’m in love! Flavia Couri is a rare and beautiful creature, stylish and sultry, strong with a sweet mischievous smile, and by’eck, can she rock a guitar! Guys wanna be with her, girls wanna be in her gang. Alongside Flavia is husband Martin Couri on drums, and that’s the whole band, nothing else needed. They’re touring to promote their new album Back In Mono with a cover pic that describes their music perfectly, no words required. I would have bought the album that evening, but end of the month, you know.

If I had to describe their sound, I’d say, think of The Ronettes, trash it up, fuzz the guitar and add a wee snarl to the voice. One song has a line, “Look out! Look out! Look out!” which is a very obvious nod to The Shangri-Las’ Leader of the Pack, a classic in my book! The Courettes also have a new single out from the album, R.I.N.G.O. and yes, it’s a tribute to Ringo Starr. Ah, just twigged, it’s images of a seedy old funfair, fumblings in the dark, à la That’ll Be The Day that their music evokes for me (Ringo Starr starred in it). So many Courettes’ songs would be perfect for film soundtracks, someone call Tarantino!

I hope it’s not too long before The Courettes ride back into town. I need more ❤

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